Broadway Theaters Set Yet Another Record for Ticket Sales and Attendance

By Jesse Sokolow on 24 May 2016
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The 2015-2016 Broadway season, which ended Sunday, was the highest grossing in history and broke a record for attendance.

“Lion King,” now in its 18th year, outdistanced every other show including the runaway hit “Hamilton,” having grossed $102.7 million last season. Meanwhile, “Hamilton” itself was the only new musical consistently among the five top-grossing shows.

The Broadway League, the trade association that represents Broadway theater owners and operators as well as show producers, said that Broadway shows had grossed approximately $1.373 billion, and that over 13.3 million people had attended a show. With those figures, Broadway easily eclipsed attendance at all New York-area sporting events combined.

The cast of "Hamilton"

The cast of “Hamilton”

This season ended with attendance up 1.6% and ticket sales up 0.6% from last year’s, both of which were records of their own at the time.  The financial figures are not adjusted for inflation. While ticket sales are up, the average price of a ticket declined slightly to $103.11 from $104.18.

Other musicals in the top five included “Wicked,” “Aladdin,” and “The Book of Mormon,” while “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” was by far the highest-grossing play of the season.

The season also included such plays such as “The Audience” with Helen Mirren and “The Gin Game” with James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson, which played to full houses amidst great critical acclaim.

To put the numbers in perspective, Broadway attendance for the 2015-2016 season was more than that of the ten professional sports teams in New York and New Jersey combined, the Broadway League said.

The show tally, which is based on the final Tony Awards determinations of categories, consisted of 39 productions, including 16 musicals, 20 plays, and three specials.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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